Passing Character Requirements: How to Get a Police Clearance in Australia
Section 501 of the Migration Act 1958 states that anyone who wants to enter or stay in Australia must pass character requirements. Character tests often require Filipino migrants and visa applicants to provide a valid police certificate. Filipinos who are currently residing in the Philippines should submit a police certificate issued by the Philippines National Police (PNP) or the National Bureau of Investigation (NBI). On the other hand, Filipinos who have spent more than a year in Australia within the last 10 years must provide a police certificate from the Australian Federal Police (AFP).
There are two ways to get a police clearance in Australia: online and through post. Online applications can be accessed at Online NPC Application Portal of the Australian Federal Police . Filipinos in Australia who wish to apply online should have access to the following:
1. A valid debit or credit card
2. A working email address for confirmation of application and succeeding communication
3. A PDF viewer
4. The ability to print and scan documents (scanned documents should be in .PDF, .JPG, or .TIF format with each file not exceeding 4 MB in size)
Note that Step 3 of the online application will require the applicant to download and print a consent form. The consent form should be filled in and signed by the applicant. The consent form should then be scanned and uploaded. It is important to note that the scanned and uploaded consent form should be the one generated during the online application. Consent forms downloaded from other sources will not be accepted.
After uploading the consent forms, the applicant will be required to upload scanned copies of valid identification documents. Identification documents should be scanned before starting the online application process. Please note that the police clearance application requires at least 100 points of identification . Applicants are required to supply at least one primary identification document. Primary identification documents include:
1. Foreign Passport
2. Australian Passport
3. Full Birth Certificate
4. Certificate of Identity Issued by the Australian Government
5. Australian Citizenship Certificate
6. Australian Driver’s License/Learner’s Permit
7. Photo Identification Card Issued for Australian Regulatory Purposes
8. Tertiary Student Identification Card
9. Defense Force Identity
10. Government Employee ID
Filipinos who do not meet the requirements for police clearance online application can apply through mail. Applicants who are requested to submit hardcopy “ink” prints for a fingerprint check are also required to submit their application in this manner. The offline application form can be downloaded here . Since submitting credit card details through email is highly discouraged, the AFP does not accept applications sent through email. Completed offline application forms, along with necessary identification documents and payment, should be posted to:
Australian Federal Police,
Locked Bag 8550
CANBERRA CITY ACT 2601
Filipinos who are applying for a National Police Check will be charged $42.00. A fingerprint and National Police Check application, on the other hand, will cost applicants either $139.00 or $99.00. As of March 2015, processing time takes about 15 business days. Processing time may vary as the AFP may need to verify information from other police jurisdictions. In the case of Filipino migrants, the AFP might coordinate with the PNP or NBI to confirm the veracity of submitted information.